o Records for my niece, who is one of the dancers. She also uses them to study her form. o Publicity for the theater. o Records for me.
The personnel are what I would call students or advanced amateurs. This is a community theater, subsidized by the city. The art director runs the associated ballet school. Some of the dancers are pretty good (IMHO), but this is no St. Petersburg!
I think if the art director wants action shots, I might get her to stage them at the rehearsal with better lighting (but I think some of mine are adequately lit)-- ll check that out. Depends on the particular scene. She was already staging poses for her own point & shoot at the end of the last rehearsal. As to performance lighting, though, I don't think she will not budge. She simply likes, e.g., dim (& blue & flat -- ugh!) stages. That's her idea of an outdoor night (moonlight) scene. She doesn't understand graduating the light up to the faces. Or localized highlights. Ethereal, indeed. She is getting to know me enough so that I might be able to make suggestions, though.
Lessons learned here already (news to me):
o The crops I need to do (from that 35 f/1.8) are too extreme. The noise problem is closely tied to cropping. o Don't be afraid of underexposure. OK to Expose less than LO. o Check out 85 mm. (That lens gets great reviews on optics. I could set my 55-200 at 85 to verify the framing.)
About underexposure & puahing: from reading the D7000's instrumentation, how do I tell how far I can go?: 3-4 stops of recovery in PP would be huge.
Speaking of framing, is there a web site that shows frame sizes at various focal lengths (for DX & FX) where the focal length is a parameter? Might save me a trip to the theater.
As to shooting angle to show the foot positions better. I think I'll bring a kik-step (a rolling stool that locks when stepped on) to gain about 14 inches off the floor. Or a small step ladder. Otherwise I am quite close to stage floor level. Another approach might be telephoto from the balcony. With a tripod. And 200 mm.
Shooting live performances would only be practical from the balcony (if permissible); otherwise I am locked in one row (row 12, assigned to the art director.
Hey, I sure wish i had known all this last year. But there are four shows a year (from the limited repertory). Plenty of time to improve!
Also, particular thanks for your responses, because I had briefly lost faith in Nikonians: something like 34 people had read my post with not one response, until I signalled Stan! I thought I was being blackballed because I mentioned the C-word. (But then there are other posts that compare Nikons & the C-stuff, so I rather doubted that. And I probably would have heard from the forum administrator if I had done anything objectionable.)